What Is an EV Charger? How Does It Work?

Unlike vehicles that run on gasoline, electric vehicles (EVs) require access to electricity to keep your car going. That has created quite a concern for many EV owners. When and how do they charge their vehicle? 

We understand why it can be confusing. After all, you’ve driven a gas-powered car for most of your life, paid attention to gas prices, and probably have a favorite gas station in Littleton, CO.

Charging an EV does take a little preparation. You might need to plan your shopping trip or dinner date at a business with a public charger. Still, as EVs grow more popular, the demand for easy access to charging stations increases too. But exactly what is an EV charger? 

If you own an EV or a commercial property and want to provide a benefit to your customers, we’ve gathered the necessary information you should know about EV chargers.  

What Is an EV Charger? 

Your smartphone is powered by a battery that requires charging via an electrical source. Like your phone, electric vehicles and some hybrids need access to electricity too. These are called EV charging stations. They operate by pulling electrical currents from an outlet or grid and delivering the vehicle’s electricity.   

Charging Your EV 

All EV chargers can be classified into one of three categories. 

  • Level 1
  • Level 2
  • Level 3 (also known as DC fast chargers)

Some chargers are as simple as plugging a cord into a standard wall outlet. Others require an electrical installation by a professional technician. How quickly your car charges will vary based on which level of charger you use.  

Level 1 Charging Stations 

A level 1 charging station is the standard plug included when purchasing your EV. No additional electrical installation is required because it fits directly into a wall outlet in your Littleton, CO, home. After plugging your car in with a level 1 charger, you’ll have approximately two to five miles of range per hour that it stays on the charger.   

While this charger is the least expensive, it takes the most time for your car to charge. Typically, level 1 chargers run overnight to ensure a full charge, ready to go in the morning. 

Level 2 Charging Stations 

You can use a level 2 charger in homes or commercial properties across Littleton, CO. However, these chargers don’t fit into a standard wall outlet. Instead, they must be installed by a professional technician, but they can charge your car between ten and 60 miles for each hour of charging. 

A level 2 charger can get an EV car battery to a full charge in as little as two hours! This makes them an excellent option for people who need a fast charge or businesses that want to allow their customers to charge their car while they shop or dine.     

Level 3 Charging Stations 

Level 3 chargers are also called DC fast chargers because they provide 60 to 100 miles of range in just 20 minutes! However, they require an expert electrical installation with special equipment. Not every car is compatible with a level 3 charging station. Many plug-in hybrid EVs aren’t equipped to plug into this charger.   

Using a Public Charging Station 

Before you pull into a public EV charging station, you should know a few things. Once you park your car, you should see a notice posted near the charging device to answer some of the following questions. 

How Much Does it Cost to Use a Public Station? 

Some may be free of charge, while others require credit card payment. If payment is required, the cost to charge your car will vary from place to place. The price changes because it depends on who is supplying the charging service, the level of the charging port, the location, and the demand. 

How Does a Public Charging Station Work? 

Some public stations will require you to create an account. This allows them to store your credit card on file and provide you with a FOB card to activate the station. From there, it’s a pretty simple process. 

  • Open the charging port 
  • Remove the charger from the holder
  • Plug it in and let it work 

The charging station should have a display alerting you to the amount of electricity added to your car and the associated price—just like a gas station! Take note of the phone number marked on the station if you have any questions or need help.  

Electrical Installation of an EV Charging Station in Littleton, CO 

Naturally, the most convenient place to charge your car is at your home in Littleton, CO. You’ll want to have a level 2 charger, which requires access to a 240-volt power source near the vehicle. This amount of electricity isn’t too difficult for a professional technician to add to your home. 

If you’re interested in having an EV charging station installed at your home, our team at MZ Electric can help. Our technicians can help you choose the perfect level 2 model charger based on your home and needs. Give us a call today!